[I originally posted this article on May 7, 2013, after having originally conceived it in 2012. I presented the statements to a group of Muslim scholars living in England. They voiced their agreement. 5 years later, the efforts and resources in our community are more scattered than ever, and Converts are giving-up. This means that our community is failing the most essential mission in Islam. I have tried presenting this reality for 8 years. Today, Allah has given rise to Trump, Republicans, and millions of people who spread fear and hate for Islam and Muslims, and threaten to eradicate us from the entirety of The West.
The “imams”, board members, committees, etc. are all deaf. They are locked in to a status-quo that will destroy Islam in America if we do not take radical steps to redefine our purpose and approach.]
Living among Muslims in the U.S. has made several things abundantly clear to me:
- Muslims lack a clear and focused vision of the purpose of life that is required for Muslims to know “what must I really be doing today? After my daily domestic work, what am I helping to build?” Without a clear goal or small set of goals, there can be no commitment.
- The Muslim communities are not established with any clear Unified Mission
- Most Muslims have no clear goal. Our lives are spent running on the treadmill of futility, working very hard to no clear object.
- Since 1987, I have never been introduced to the mission statement of any Masjid, never heard an Imam introduce a unifying vision for community purpose. Haphazardly, they just do whatever comes to mind at any moment in time. I mean: in 30 years, I’ve never seen clarity of purpose in the Muslim community. Because of this, the community is never prepared for today’s conditions, because they never looked to the future and organized themselves accordingly. They scurry about trying to revive an atom’s weight of Islam, while the body of the Ummah has been dead and buried for quite some time !
The Muslim must understand his purpose in life, the Ummah must be united by its purpose, and communities must be built according to the right Demands and Objectives. I do NOT suggest every Muslim must do the same things ! Human life and community-building require much work in many areas. However, the CORE MISSION must be clear.
The Reasons for a Simplified Mission Statement
- Islam is HUGE ! It’s understandable that hundeds of years of neglect has left the Muslims in an utter state of confusion, how to put the million pieces together in the correct picture. I always find it useful to build a skeletal framework, then fill in the details as the need arises.
- The mind of the Muslim is no longer acute enough to visualize a highly detailed Grand Scheme. The Grand Scheme actually belongs to Allah Who has already defined it in His Book and in the life of Rasulullah S.A.W. Muslims just need basic guidelines to get back on track to the general Destination.
- There is Unity in Simplification, and unity is not only a major objective of Islam, but a requirement for the new Community of Muslims being built in America.
- The Importance is not to spend the rest of life day-dreaming about Islam and its history, but to quickly set the community on track for which they can begin expending their efforts and material resources.
- It is traditional in Islam to use basic Foundational Statements(تصريح تأسيسي). In the Hadith Jibreel, Rasulullah stated such a teaching aid for Islam, Iman, and Ihsaan. Such simple foundational statements have been used by Scholars over the centuries. A modern example is the Six Qualities mentioned over-and-over in the Tableegh effort, which has helped millions of Muslims recover some Deen all over the world. This means that focus on profound and important basics is very effective.
It is a common practice of those who organize Large Tasks to begin with simple objectives and definitions. This is a reality in the business world as can easily be determined by reading the documents of a company’s charter. That simplicity is unifying is also apparent in institutions like The Bill of Rights, or The Charter of Medina. Such documents produce a commonality of Purpose upon which one can immediately start taking action, and work-out the details as events occur.
Recommended 3 Maqasid and their Basic Explanation
Through the sending of the Ambiyaa and revealing The Qur’an, Allah has made it abundantly clear that human beings have an extremely important purpose for existence. For this purpose, the Prophets have lived lives of privation, suffering, and daily struggle in order to clarify the purpose of Life for Humanity.
When asked “what is the purpose of a Muslim”, one should automatically say, at least; “to acquire the Pleasure of Allah”. This is clearly the ultimate objective of our lives, as acquiring Allah’s Pleasure means Success, and guaranteed failure results from not acquiring it.
So, the community mission statement I propagate is:
The purpose of the Muslim is to acquire the RiDa of Allah by
- Opening the Doors of Islam for each and every human being
- Building a functioning community that secures the Mumineen, and preserves and propagates Islam
- Making Islah and Tazkia individually and collectively by actualizing the Sunnah of Rasulullah
The First Objective – Opening the Doors of Islam for those who seek to Convert
The first word of Qur’an revealed to Rasulullah s.a.w. was also the first Order from Allah: Iqraa ! Rasulullah had been ordered to begin proclaiming the ayaat of Allah’s Book to all of humanity. The next revelation:
وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ قُمْ فَأَنذِرْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ
From these beginning moments of Islam, Rasulullah demonstrated that his primary job was to seek Allah’s Rida by calling humanity to Islam. The Sahabah joined him in this mission, and together with Allah’s Help, all paths were cleared, all obstacles for entry into Islam were removed. It is in this Objective that most actions of Rasulullah and Sahabah can be explained, including the battles that began 14 years after the start of Revelation.
The Second Objective – Building the Community of Mumineen
The Da’wa of Rasulullah and the early Sahabah involved much agonizing, torture, and loss of life. From the 5th year of the Call to Islam, they began seeking asylum, finding temporary refuge in Habasha, before finally being invited to their permanent security in Medina.
Rasulullah established the first Islamic Statehood by enjoining Brotherhood between Muhajireen and Ansaar, and writing a charter of mutual aid between all inhabitants of Medina, whether Muslim or otherwise. This was the beginning of the formation of a community that would spread and defend Islam at all cost, provide security, learning, and livelihood for the Muslims, and culture an environment in which the purpose of human existence could be mutually and individually sought after.
Muslims living in the U.S. must think and work, individually and collectively, based on a unified vision. Our situation and environment is too similar to the very beginning of the Ummah, in which a handful of Believers were surrounded by an ocean of resistance, ignorance, and social systems that were not conducive to Islamic existence. If Muslims here don’t grasp the reality of their situation soon, and begin building a unified community based on the correct principles of the Deen, Islam will disappear before it has a chance to be born.
[Dear reader: please remember now that I formulated this 5 years ago.]
One of the most obvious signs of the lack of Unified Vision is the tremendous waste of resources. They keep building fancy mosques and other buildings that are kept mostly empty, while ignoring grassroots programs that the community requires for survival ! They have no ability to focus on the requirements of sustainability, because they have no unified Objective !
The Third Objective – Individually and Collectively Correcting Ourselves as Human Beings
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“And whoever desires a Deen other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he will be among the Losers. “
وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَ قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا
By the soul and Him Who made it perfect, Then He inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it;
He will indeed be successful who purifies it, And he will indeed fail who corrupts it.”
In verse 164 of al-Imraan, Allah ta’ala says:
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
“ Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (s.a.w) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (i.e. his legal ways, statements, acts of worship)], while before that they had been in manifest error. “
Allah has also said:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.
So, Allah ta’ala has made it abundantly clear that He expects the Muslim to mold himself onto the pattern of Muhammad ur-Rasulullah (s.a.w). The one who will succeed at that, will Truly Succeed. The Details of this purification is the domain of ‘Ulema, so I won’t go into that.
In Summary and Practicability
The reason I try to spread the idea of the 3 Maqasid (Objectives) is this:
- It clarifies, in simple terms, that a Muslim DOES IN FACT have a purpose, and that the objectives of a Muslim are clearly defined by Islam. If Muslims could adopt and propagate such an idea, including the Imams who are usually preoccupied with discussing tiny and irrelevant details of Islam, perhaps the Muslims can wake up and start living like they DO have a purpose.
- It would enhance unity if Muslims would adopt such an understanding. We could have a COMMUNITY that has a sense that all appropriate efforts toward these 3 Maqasid are legitimate, and should be supported and honored, rather than argued over.
- If Muslims would focus energy and resources in these 3 Maqasid, it may be possible to establish Islam here ! Otherwise, I fear we are witnessing the death of Islam in America, the closing of the window of one of the greatest opportunities in the history of Islam ! Muslims are scatter-brained, and need clearly defined Objectives to give them focus.
- For any Muslim to memorize and understand these 3 Maqasid, it will help in decision making on a daily basis.